New British Sculpture / Bristol 1968: A new Engagement with Public Art

Author Julian Warren

Date 01.05.2011

Publisher Bristol City Council

ISBN n/a

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An essay by Julian Warren, Archivist at Arnolfini, and Bristol Record Office. The text takes as a starting point the project 'New British Sculpture/Bristol 1968: a new engagement with public' (20th May to 29th June 1968) for which twenty-five colourful and abstract pieces, typically made from welded metal and fibreglass were staged across the centre of Bristol. Warren examines the legacy of this show in Bristol and the impact that the project had further afield.


Before 1968, as Francis Greenacre notes in his introduction to the recent publication Public Sculpture of Bristol ‘all sculpture in Bristol and almost all sculpture elsewhere in Britain was either architectural, in the sense of being applied or linked to a building, or it was a commemorative statue or monument , a fountain or a water source. The exhibition New British Sculpture/Bristol in 1968, organised by Arnolfini with the co-operation of the Bristol Corporation and the Bath Festival Society, was remarkable for the part it played in opening up civic sculpture in the UK to new possibilities, marking a move away from the more traditional, narrow perspective of public sculpture as either architectural decoration or as some kind of permanent monument dedicated to a specific individual or event................. (see downloads to read the full essay)